ON SEPTEMBER 2 MTA New York City Transit awarded contracts to three firms to demonstrate transmission-based train control systems for use on the subway network. Bids were called for the pilot project last October, with three preferred bidders selected in July (RG 7.98 p462).

The three are Alcatel Transport Automation, Alstom Signalling and a joint venture of Matra Transport International with Union Switch & Signal. All three firms are planning to use wireless data communications links developed by Kasten Chase Applied Research. Installation of the equipment on a 3 km section of the F Culver line between 4th Avenue and Church Avenue stations in Brooklyn is due to get under way this month, ready for the six-month demonstration phase scheduled for January to June 1999.

Based on the demonstrations, a technical evaluation and commercial negotiations, NYCT will select one firm for the second phase of the project - complete resignalling of the 17·2 km L Canarsie line using TBTC technology. At the same time the other two companies will be awarded Phase 3 contracts to develop fully-interoperable equipment compatible with the selected system. This will enable competitive bidding between the three firms for the resignalling of the rest of the subway network after 2004. o